Right now, the Chicago Cubs are presenting their renovation plans for Wrigley Field to the Chicago Landmarks Commission, which must sign off on the plan before the Cubs can move forward with aspects of renovation that touch on landmarked structures. We learned last night that Alderman Tom Tunney does not expect to support the Cubs at today’s meeting because of a handful of items with which he still disagrees in the Cubs’ plan.
According to a Sun-Times report, it sounds like Tunney will get his way, at least temporarily. The Commission will today approve the Cubs’ proposed changes to the dugouts, the outfield walls, the new entrance on the western side of the ballpark, and the new Captain Morgan Club, per the Sun-Times report. The Commission will not, however, approve the Cubs’ 6000 square foot video board in left field, or the 1000 square foot advertising sign in right field. Decisions on those items will be deferred to the regularly-scheduled Commission meeting on July 11.
Tunney, per a letter he sent to the Cubs yesterday, would like to see the video board no larger than 3500 square feet, and the sign in right no larger than 600 square feet. The Sun-Times describes the fact that the signage will not be decided today as a two-week opportunity for Tunney to try and get the Cubs to come down on their signage demands (intimating that, at present, the Commission/City Council could be favoring the Cubs’ plan, though I don’t want to read too much into it).
For their part, and you can read more details in the Sun-Times report, it doesn’t sound like the Cubs have any intention of reducing their signage demand. Perhaps this is simply a negotiation tactic by Tunney, trying to get the Cubs to agree to reduce the signs by any amount, even if not the full amount that he actually wants.
I’ll be candid: when the Cubs announced that they wanted a 6000 square foot JumboTron and a 1000 square foot sign in right, my first assumption was that they were “over asking” so that they could get the four or five or whatever thousand square foot board they really wanted. So, if they have to come down slightly, I wouldn’t be surprised. That said, if the Cubs truly want a 6000 square foot board and a 1000 square foot sign, and the impact of those items on external people/businesses/whatever is negligible, then they should be permitted to do whatever they want. It’s their house.
We’ll find out more about the Commission meeting and the next steps later today, I’d expect.